Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Danger of Clichés

"Sought-after speaker"; "Award-winning author";
"Master Story-teller"; "Changing the World"

Nothing kills your marketing materials faster than using a bunch of cliches. Yet, most speakers and authors litter their promotional items with these types of nebulus phrases. Why? Because it's easier to use cliches to fill up space, rather than spend serious time thinking about your audience and their specific needs.

Clichés sound bad because they're statements with a lack of motivation attached to them...that's why they come across as vague or trite. Sometimes, we write vague marketing text because we don’t really believe in our own message. So, if we avoid offering tangible benefits or a guarantee, then we think it lets us off the hook. All it really does, however, is diminish our credibility.

Avoid cliches by answering these questions on behalf of your audience: "What is the benefit for them?" or "What specific life change do I want to make happen for them?" Employ marketing text that gives your audience the motivation to listen to your speeches and read your books.

Cliches = bad; Specific benefits = good!!

1 comment:

relevantgirl said...

This is one of the problems I see when I critique writing as well. It's lazy to use what's often used. I tell writers to dig deeper, to find a fresh, innovative metaphor.